Teddy Atlas was surprised when Francis Ngannou decided not to work with him.
Atlas is a legendary boxing trainer and analyst and with Francis Ngannou making his boxing debut in October against Tyson Fury, the former UFC heavyweight champion reportedly asked Atlas to help him prepare for the fight. However, Atlas says he doesn’t work with anyone and wanted a couple of days as a trial period before committing to it.
“I don’t always talk about things that haven’t come to pass, but Ngannou’s people had asked me about the possibility of training him. Obviously, I just don’t train anyone, even if it’s a pile of oil money in the sand, it’s just obviously a score,” Teddy Atlas said on his podcast. “I’m no saint with this stuff or a monk. But I’m not going to train someone unless I get to be around them and think they’re a good person, and think they’re coachable and that I think I can help them. I’m just not going to.
“So obviously, my way is that I’m going to spend a couple of days with you. That’s the deal, and it’s going to be a trial period. I’m not going to say yes or no until I go through the trial period and see if I want to work with you, and if I can work with you and if you can work with me. It’s fair for you too,” Atlas continued.
The plan was for Teddy Atlas to go out to Vegas for a few days and work with Francis Ngannou to see if he was going to train him.
Francis Ngannou starting to work with Mike Tyson
Yet, shortly after Atlas agreed to go out to Las Vegas, he saw Francis Ngannou will now be trained by Mike Tyson which caught Atlas by surprise.
“The next day, my son sends me a thing that they’re getting Mike Tyson to train him. Again, God bless, good, great. I’m sure that it’s going to bring extra pay-per-view buys at the very least, and look, Tyson was a tremendous fighter. We get it. And Ngannou is infatuated by him. He’s obsessed with Tyson. He wanted me to show him how to throw the Tyson uppercut, which I did,” Atlas said.
“So all right, all that. I treat him like a gentleman, but obviously you made that deal with Tyson, and you’re asking me to go out to Vegas. Why won’t you be up front with me? It just don’t feel good. It just doesn’t feel good. I’m not crying. I guess what I am saying is, can’t we be better as people? I know money is money and that’s important, but isn’t it important to treat people right? Isn’t it important to keep your word? Again, they’re nice people, but when you’re tempted by these things, isn’t what’s more important for you to show those characteristics that I’m talking about of just decency, just honesty?,” Atlas concluded.
Whether or not having Mike Tyson train Francis Ngannou will help him is to be seen. But, Fury is the massive betting favorite and many expect him to run through the former UFC champ.